PLEDGE NOW
Chain Medicine

New Yorker writer and surgeon Atul Gawande on why a chain restaurant—the Cheesecake Factory– might be the new model for healthcare.

 a patient waits in the halls of the trauma unit of the emergency room at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. (AP)

A patient waits in the halls of the trauma unit of the emergency room at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. (AP)

Time was, every doctor in America was the lone practitioner, taking patients and doing medicine by his or her own lights.  A lot has changed.  It’s going to change more, says my guest today, writer and surgeon Atul Gawande.  The new model?

It may be a restaurant chain, the Cheesecake Factory, he says.  A huge menu, lots of outlets, lots of centrally-crafted recipes and control.  “Big Med,” he calls it, with cookie-cutter medicine and tons of central oversight.  It could raise quality and cuts costs.  Or not.

This hour, On Point:  Atul Gawande, on the chain restaurant model for health care.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon, a writer, and a public-health researcher. His article on chain medicine appears in the current issue of the New Yorker.

Dr. Mark Girard, president of Steward Health Care Network, and a practicing interventional radiologist.

From Tom’s Reading List

New Yorker “The place is huge, but it’s invariably packed, and you can see why. The typical entrée is under fifteen dollars. The décor is fancy, in an accessible, Disney-cruise-ship sort of way: faux Egyptian columns, earth-tone murals, vaulted ceilings. The waiters are efficient and friendly. They wear all white (crisp white oxford shirt, pants, apron, sneakers) and try to make you feel as if it were a special night out. As for the food—can I say this without losing forever my chance of getting a reservation at Per Se?—it was delicious.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

 
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment